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Pacer baseball sweeps Lions in dramatic fashion

A 12-run inning on Wednesday highlights an impressive week


The Lakeridge baseball team wrapped up a sweep of West Linn last week with a pair of dramatic victories.

The Pacers, who are eyeing a top-three finish in the league this year, found themselves in trouble on Wednesday, trailing 8-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning.

But Lakeridge refused to quit. Mark Grothe and Rick Hiller each reached base to start the inning and the Pacers were load the bases for Cooper Hummel.

Hummel then knocked a hard-hit ball to right field which fell in and was then misplayed by the fielder. Hummel would race around to third base, knocking in three runs in the process.

And Lakeridge was nowhere close to being finished. The Pacers would eventually tie the game and would load the bases once more with Hummel coming to the plate.

This time, Hummel belted a pitch over the fence for a grand slam. The blast gave Hummel seven RBIs in just one inning and capped a 12-run outburst by Lakeridge to give the home team the lead. Seven of the Pacers' runs in the inning came with two outs.

“It was definitely a fun game to be a part of,” coach Colin Griffin said.

Holding a slim lead and facing a depleted bullpen, the Pacers brought in Michael Sheldon for his first work on the mound of the season and he responded by picking up the save.

Lakeridge then played in another thriller on Friday. The Pacers went up against West Linn's flame-thrower in Karsen Lindell who was on his game early on.

“Our game plan was to make him throw strikes and get his pitch count up and he came out and threw strikes. Through four innings he had eight strike outs,” Griffin said.

In the fourth inning, Hank Elliott led off with a single and Hummel would follow with a two-run home run, keeping up his blistering pace.

The teams then traded runs and the game went to extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Hiller led off with a single and was advanced to second base on a bunt by Levi Rudolph.

West Linn then intentionally walked Hummel and Dutton Elske hit a ball that led to a throwing error by the Lions which scored two runs.

Rudolph, who had been solid all game for the Pacers, stayed in the game to pitch the bottom of the eighth.

After getting out of a jam to save the game in the bottom of the seventh, he did the same in the bottom of the eighth, coaxing a pair of ground balls with runners on second and third base to lock down the victory.

“This is a team-oriented group. It's a different line-up every day and we have a lot of confidence that this is a team that can do some damage in the postseason,” Griffin said.

On Monday, Lakeridge couldn't quite come up with the same magic against Oregon City. Lakeridge led 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth when a pair of hits and a pair or errors with two outs allowed the Pioneers to score three runs, which was all they needed to steal a 3-2 win.

Lakeridge wraps up its series with Oregon City this week and will take on first-place Clackamas next week.




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